Today, thanks to the awesomely fabulous Porter Novelli Melbourne, I was invited to partake in a day of fun and adventure at the Adventure Park, located just past Geelong, Victoria.
I was also asked to bring my family along.
Of course, I did make the most of this and mentioned “Family Day”, the very words which, without thought, invoke a vomit of “I don’t wanna go” and “I hate family days” etc etc. Thus, I took great delight in opening the website and printing off the map and checking out stuff we can do and saying “Oh, COOL! I can do ALL of this and not have to worry about YOU! I’m gonna have so much FUN!!!!”
I waited till they cried and promised me they would never, ever, ever, ever, ever say they hated family days again before saying they could come along, too.
Off we set on the nearly two hour drive, new bathers donned, swim bag packed with everything we needed and kept our eye on the outside temperature. It was overcast and cool. We had mild panic when the temperature reading dropped from 20 to 18 degrees C and willed it to raise another 7 degree or so.
Upon arrival – we being not just first, but way too early *sigh* – we met with the other bloggers who were sharing the experience, too, and were handed a goody bag and escorted to our private cabanas. My children were most disappointed it wasn’t a sausage, and I spent much of the day trying to explain why it wasn’t. They like kabana. A lot. But we can’t very well relax in a sausage now, can we? Nor would it do a terribly good job at keeping the sun off us.
Apparently, neither of these were suitable excuses, so I said “look at that” and pointed at something behind them, then ran away when they turned to look.
The Park had lots of very cool (as in “awesome” although “cool as in not warm” also applied today) attractions for all ages. Loads of watery playground type thingies for big kids (as in tweens and teens) and toddlers and preschoolers and big kids (as in adults who have yet to grow up).
Chippie developed a phobia of, well, everything, and I attempted to coax him in to trying a few things, encouraging him and speaking in a soft, calm voice the whole time, before sitting him on my lap on a 3 foot high water slide and getting my bum wedged. We made it to the bottom, where I banged my ankle, and he ran off screaming very loudly and drawing much attention to the woman trying to extract her thighs from the bottom of the toddler slide ….
The bigger kids were able to wander off and do what they wanted, which was simply fantastic! I love places that let kids to stuff without their parents hovering over them constantly. I love that they can experience things, explore and just have fun.
Partly because it means I can, too.
(I’m one of those mums who joins in the activities with her kids, not because I want them to be careful, but so I can be stupid, too :D)
I (well, we all did) had many goes on the very big water slide, and the Gold Rush and Wild West rapids.
Chippie took a liking to the Lazy River (photos of which are on the underwater camera we were provided with on the day and I have yet to have developed and put into a suitable format for posting on blogs) and insisted we go around many, many times on The Donuts. He nearly got wet, too.
After we had suitably worn ourselves out and the temperature dropped, announcing the end of “afternoon” was near and the commencement of “evening” was imminent, we dressed, had a go on some paddle boats and a hit of mini-golf.
This saw the five of us spread over three holes, two balls lost, three balls found (????), Chippie yelling “Look, I find a ball!” which turned out to be the ball that whomever had just hit that landed near the hole and several tantrums at the retrieval of said balls “found”.
Nearly finished our game, an announcement came over the Park, advising that it was “closing in 15 minutes at 6.30”.
Wow! We’d literally been there 7 and a half hours. First to arrive and last to leave!
Back to our
sausage cabana, collected our stuff and climbed into the car; weary, yet happy.
We’d all had a great time. We’d go back again. We’d like to see more stuff for the big big kids, more adrenaline pumping stuff, but there was plenty for us to do. We love that our two older kids (and probably most kids of about age 7 and up) could go off on their own, explore, climb, jump, scream down rapids and slide down really big, wet stuff. That was pretty awesome.
We loved that there were watery playgrounds for the littler ones, even if Chippie didn’t. Perhaps we will keep taking him until he enjoys it whether he likes it or not?
Ten minutes after leaving, everyone had crashed. Of course, I photographed the moment and posted it on twitter …
… yep, a testament to how fun and long the day was; three sunburnt, tired kids and a photo posted upside down.
Oh, and yes, I came away burnt, bruised and grazed! Yet another testament to a great time!